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Peace Odyssey 2001

A People's Conference for Peace - 2001


We are assembling a coalition of groups to initiate a World People's Conference on Peace and Security in the year 2001.

Planning for national security is usually the province of sovereign states, an arcane subject whose complexity is beyond the ken of anyone but a few initiates, the political insiders. Civil society plays little part in disarmament discussions. Treaties are negotiated largely behind closed doors, or in the corridors of power. Arms deals are often made or broken in secret; budget appropriations are divorced from their cost in blood. Military security is a deadly game played by a few. The world of pawns has not been able to influence the outcomes. The common man dies while the expert plans. In the time that it has taken you to read this some real person has stepped on a landmine and has been killed. You were not consulted when the mine was manufactured and shipped to Cambodia or Angola or Afghanistan, but the person was killed in spite of the fact that you would wish her alive again.

The refugees of the world wheel their few possessions away from battlefields where dark forces fight for obscure ends. It is time for the real people of the world to start flexing their muscles.

The process has already begun. In Beijing, in Copenhagen, in Cairo, in Rio, people from all over the world joined to discuss the problems of women, of development, of overpopulation, of the environment. Governments stop and listen to power. The people who suffer must empower themselves. Nowhere have they been more victimized than in the making of war. Many other problems are subsumed in the dominance of the military. Money spent on arms could feed the hungry and heal the sick. Military production is the greatest polluter of the environment. The weight of suffering falls most heavily on women and children. Yet, while governments grudgingly consult with civil society on other issues, they are adamant about excluding them from the disarmament process.

It is time for people all over the world to unite and say "Enough! We are tired of war!" We must unite, and invite governments to join us. If we raise our voices loudly enough they will hear.

People everywhere must demand peace. People everywhere must see that the world's problems form an interconnected web, and that War is the spider that sits in the center.

We invite you to join us as we make our appeal around the world.

peace odyssey | anatomy | goals | proposals | endorsements | links | women's petition for peace